I love to use nature-study science resources that focus on animals, the seasons, weather, and all of “nature” with my elementary-aged children. These resources are in the form of art lessons, textbooks that are easy for my students to read on their own, living books that I love to read with my kids, and DVDs.
I am not really a “science person”. However, I am excited to have found a way to make science work for my STEM-less personality, haha! (STEM = science, technology, engineering, math) by using a literature and arts approach!
Our Favorite Nature-Study Science Resources
Exploring Creation with Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day
Exploring Creation with Zoology 2: Swimming Creatures
Exploring Creation with Zoology 3: Land Animals of the Sixth Day
Buddy Davis’ Amazing Adventures: Alaska
Buddy Davis’ Amazing Adventures: Ice Age
Draw Write Now Book 1: On the Farm, Kids, Critters
Nature-Study Science Resources (literature & arts-based)
Apologia has science textbooks that are very easy for elementary children to read on their own – and interesting enough that they want to! I have slowly added to our collection of Apologia science books and the zoology series is one of our favorites. I often read from the textbooks with my children on our science days, but keep them readily available on our bookshelves for the children to explore whenever they want to. Often, when they encounter a new insect, plant, or animal they will turn to our Apologia textbooks to learn more about them.
Handbook of Nature Study is a book that is used as a reference or “look it up” resource. It comes in handy for all ages including high school level science. A very comprehensive guide to nature-study.
The Year At Maple Hill Farm a great way to study the seasons and animals with my younger kids. I love that it is all about farm life! We read the monthly description at the start of each new month and my children never tire of exploring the pictures of amazing artwork depicting farm life.
Christian Liberty Nature Readers books are referenced throughout the year and often what I read from on our science days. These are great Christ-centered science books! They include books from K through 5th-grade.
Buddy Davis’ Amazing Adventures: Swamp Man! is a really great DVD about the swamp and the creatures that reside there. Buddy sings some original songs and points the viewers to our amazing Creator! His entire series is really good and we own most of them.
Nature Journals are a great way to let the kids record what they learn through pictures, art, and words. We just use blank notebooks, but there are a lot of cute ready-made nature journals available to purchase. These are perfect for a Charlotte Mason homeschool method (a style I find me becoming more and more drawn to through the years).
Draw Write Now Book 1: On the Farm, Kids and Critters, Storybook Characters is perfect for centering our art lessons around animals! We also use these handy art workbooks for the kids to draw and record their copywork.
Mike’s Inspiration Station DVD series has several art lessons on drawing animals in various formats (cartoon, charcoal, pastels, watercolor, etc.). We own and love his entire 12-DVD series!
Combining all of these resources over the course of a year or two creates a rich living-science approach for young children. We do not use all of these every day or even every week, but we do typically focus on something science-related two days per week in a structured setting during our morning time … and then allow nature-study to take place at any given moment!